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THE   LIGHTHOUSE

living, out of community with people into the
presence of this formidable ancient enemy of hers
—this other thing, this truth, this reality, which
suddenly laid hands on her, emerged stark at the
back of appearances and commanded her atten-
tion.     She  was  half unwilling,   half reluctant.
Why always be drawn out and haled away?   Why
not left in peace, to talk to Mr. Carmichael on
the lawn?   It was an exacting form of intercourse
anyhow.    Other worshipful objects were content
with worship;    men, women,  God,  all let one
kneel prostrate;   but this form, were it only the
shape  of a   white   lamp-shade   looming   on   a
wicker table, roused one to perpetual  combat,
challenged one to a fight in which one was bound
to be worsted.   Always (it was in her nature, or
in her sex,  she did  not know  which)   before
she exchanged the fluidity of life for  the con-
centration of painting she had a few moments
of nakedness when she seemed like an unborn
soul, a soul reft of body, hesitating  on some
windy pinnacle and exposed without protection
to all the blasts of doubt.    Why then did she
do it?    She looked at the canvas, lightly scored
with running lines.    It would be hung in the
servants' bedrooms.    It would be rolled up and
stuffed under a sofa.    What was the  good of
doing it then, and she heard some voice saying

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